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How do you know when it's time to let go

(15 Posts)
Electrocute1980 Mon 26-Aug-19 17:53:29

Our boy (almost 11 yrs old) was diagnosed with diabetes a year and a half ago. The vets have never been able to get his diabetes under good control, his fructosamide levels are always really high. He's also on medication for a problem with his gall bladder. He lost his eyesight very suddenly about 6 months after diagnosis (in the space of a few days) which had a huge negative impact on him - he's always been a nervous and very reactive dog due to being attacked by bigger dogs a couple of times. He wouldn't get out of his basket, didn't greet anyone at the door and shook all the time. Gradually this got better to the point that he will potter about in the garden (walks seem to be just too stressful for him) and will greet us when we come in, snuggle on the sofa at night. He sleeps a good bit of the day but then he is almost 11.

I saw him laying on the sofa today and I guess it just hit me - gone are the days he played with his ball, chased birds in the park, ran along the beach with us, came on all our holidays. He hates the needles twice a day, has to have the same prescription food day in, day out, no treats, bones to chew, peanut butter kongs. And I just thought, is this a life for him? Is he miserable? Has he had enough? How do you know? My heart breaks even thinking that as I am so not ready to let him go. But I just want what is best for him.

Does anyone have any advice they can give me?

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Aquamarine1029 Mon 26-Aug-19 17:59:54

I'm sorry about this, and I know how hard it is. Sadly, I think your dog's quality of life is all but gone, and he is probably is far more pain and discomfort than you realise. Animals are very good at masking their pain. What's best for him is for you to have him gently put to sleep. It is past time. I think you know this simply because you've written this post. You know it's time to let him go.

BiteyShark Mon 26-Aug-19 18:04:03

It sounds like it is time given what you have said about his quality of life.

* My heart breaks even thinking that as I am so not ready to let him go. But I just want what is best for him.*

As hard as it is for you he needs you to be his advocate thanks

Electrocute1980 Mon 26-Aug-19 18:28:45

Thank you both for replying. I'm just so worried because it feels like giving up on him sad

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MrsRufusdog789 Mon 26-Aug-19 20:20:22

My heart goes out to you as I really know how you feel . If as you say your boy has adjusted to the blindness enough to potter round the garden - to find his way around the house - to greet you and snuggle up he does have a quality of life . It must be upsetting for you and him to have injections twice daily but I don’t believe that is enough to ruin his day . As for him being in pain as another post suggested - your vet is the one to best advise on that issue and also you are best judge of your own dog and how he’s feeling after so many years together . Dogs are so finely attuned to how we are feeling he will pick up on your own worries and also your happiness . As much as we would like to think they are the same as us they are not - they live very much in the moment . That’s the biggest lesson they teach us . To enjoy the moment. So remember all the lovely times in the past but don’t be too sad about the life he has with you now . He still has love, food , and a potter around the garden with all his familiar smells so he’s doing pretty well for any dog x Above all whatever you do decide to do don’t castigate yourself for either acting perhaps too soon or not soon enough. Believe me You will know exactly when the moment to say goodbye I speak from experience x

Aberhonddu Mon 26-Aug-19 20:40:06

It's such a hard decision to make and because you love him, you'll always want what's best for him.
Quality of life is important, if he stops eating, drinking and he can't control his bodily functions then it's time.
He's given you his lifetime of devotion and maybe now it's time to return that love, care and attention and let him go to a place where he is not in pain or discomfort anymore.
flowers

Jouska Mon 26-Aug-19 20:53:42

It is a very hard decision and I think needs to be a made with your vets advice as they can see the dog in rl

In my experience vets may need you to direct the conversation to the option of pts but they will know how much your dog is suffering and if they can help at all.

GrumpyMiddleAgedWoman Mon 26-Aug-19 21:05:14

It's very tough. The best advice I've ever come across is to think about the things your dog used to enjoy, and then work out what is left.

We did this for our old dog, and I think it helped us to make the right call.

MrsRufusdog789 Mon 26-Aug-19 21:51:38

That’s really good advice x

Electrocute1980 Tue 27-Aug-19 08:42:17

Thank you all so much. Most of the time I do think he's still got so much love, good appetite, a warm comfy bed and a good sized garden and his tail still wags and he comes to the door when he hears me come in. But I don't know, something today just made me think what if he's just tired of it all. And I also think due to his diabetes never being under good control that must make him feel ill a lot of the time? I'm popping into the vet this morning to drop off a urine sample as I suspect he may have an infection. I'll try and have a chat with her then if I can.

Really appreciate all your replies. I feel a bit less alone!

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xoxoluna Tue 27-Aug-19 09:12:21

The best advice I've ever come across is to think about the things your dog used to enjoy, and then work out what is left.

Yes this, OP. When my dog was put down, I cried so much and felt incredibly guilty, like I'm giving up so soon. I googled looking for support and this advice was what others have shared with me too. If your pup no longer enjoys what he used to, it may be time. I'm sorry you have to go through this. it's never easy saying goodbye. Sending lots of hugs. flowers

raspberryk Tue 27-Aug-19 19:48:28

The vet may even come out to you to pts, if you're already recognising that he's suffering don't let it go on much further, ime people hang on longer than is kind because it's such a hard decision.

user1471465525 Tue 27-Aug-19 20:55:43

You might find the vet will encourage you try new meds or make him more comfortable and so on until it comes the day you have no choice but to make the horrible decision. Only you know if he is still enjoying life or enduring it.Better a day too soon than a week too late.Sorry you have to go through this.

HorseradishSnowflake Wed 28-Aug-19 17:22:25

@Electrocute1980
I hope you were able to chat with the vet. We are going through a similar time here. My old boy is struggling with spinal degeneration and although he still eats and tries to wag his tail his life is very limited. I sway from thinking it will be best to put him to sleep before it gets any worse to thinking, we will wait a bit longer. Our vet is lovely, she says she will support our decision when the time comes and book us straight in.
The whole family ( 3 teen/ adult kids) is effected. I don't think I can go though this again, it's heartbreaking so I totally sympathise with what you're going through. Take care.

Electrocute1980 Thu 03-Oct-19 10:42:49

I am sorry I never came back to this thread but life has been a little hectic. It turned out that DDog had an ecoli infection in his urine. He had a course of antibiotics and seems to have picked up again, he's in and out to the garden for a sniff around multiple times a day, much more settled at night, "claiming" visitors by lying across their laps 😹 just like he used to. I got some good advice from this thread and although it seems we are not there yet, I'm confident I'll be able to make the right choice for him when the time does come. So thank you to everyone who replied and thanks to everyone who has gone through it.

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